Environmental Threats

Statistics and information about criminal threats to the environment. Illegal logging, illegal fishing, smuggling and other environmental destruction committed by organized crime is collected from wildlife charities and public information sources.

458,850 tons of fishes are illegally fished in the Philippines, causing economic losses of up to $620 Million (26.5 Billion Philippine Peso) every year.

(More about illegal fishing in the Philippines and around the world.)

Source: Fish for the People, Vol. 8, No.1, 2010, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, page 11.

Between 2001 and 2011, around 45,000 pounds of ivory has been seized every year either in Asia or in route to the continent.

In addition, wildlife monitoring network Traffic reports that on average, two Chinese nationals are arrested for smuggling ivory every day.

Source: Alex Shoumatoff, “Agony and Ivory,” Vanity Fair, August 2011.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare estimates that up to 100 elephants are killed every day for their ivory tusks by poachers.

Source: Alex Shoumatoff, “Agony and Ivory,” Vanity Fair, August 2011.

In the first six months of 2011, nearly 200 rhinos were killed and poached in South Africa.

333 rhinos were killed in 2010, 122 killed in 2009, and 83 killed in 2008.

There are about 24,000 rhinos left in Africa.

The increase in poaching of rhinos is due to the increase in demand for ivory products in Asia.

Source: Bettina Wassener, “Rhino Poaching Threatens Conservation Gains,” New York Times, Green Blog, July 6, 2011.

In the first half of 2011, over 800 hectares of forest was destroy in Vietnam in 2,900 cases of illegal logging.

Source: “Illegal loggers destroy 800ha of forest,” Viet Nam News, July 6, 2011.


Wealthy individuals from Asia purchase tortoises from Madagascar on the black market for $10,000.

The tortoises are either kept as pets, or bought by traffickers and sold to doctors to create sexual potions.

(Additional prices of wildlife animals.)

Source: Hannah McNeish, “Madagascar’s ‘tortoise mafia’ on the attack,” BBC News, June 27, 2011.

The illegal trade in bushmeat (the meat and body parts of mammals and reptiles) is worth $72 Million (45 Million British Pounds) in the Central African Republic.

Source: Jonny Hogg, “Rats, bees to protect African wildlife: experts,” Reuters, June 10, 2011.

A tiger penis sells for $1,300 (40,000 Thai Baht) on the black market in Thailand. The penis is the most popular part of the tiger and is eventually sold in China.

When traffickers provide tigers for sale on the black market, a dead tiger can be sold for $5,000.

(Additional prices of tigers and other wildlife animals on the black market.)

Source: “Wildlife smuggling trails go ever deeper,” Bangkok Post, June 27, 2011.

88 percent of all logging activity in Indonesia is considered to be illegal.

Tax revenues of $3.5 Billion (30.3 Trillion Indonesian Rupiahs) are lost each year to illegal logging.

Source: “88 percent of logging illegal: ICW,” Jakarta Post, June 23, 2011.

At the Mumbai Port Trust in India, diesel smuggling by organized crime  groups earn between $11 to $13 Million (50 to 60 Indian Crore) a year.

Source: Mateen Hafeez, “From ships to smugglers’ cans,” Times of India, June 19, 2011.